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Home library ideas and designs

With the popularity of the e-book and the Kindle, many more of us are abandoning the hardback and paperback in favour of something that can store all of our books yet still fit in our bag. But there is a certain romance attached to physical books that some of us still find very appealing. Put those books in a beautiful home library and even the most dedicated iPad browser or audiobook fan will go weak at the knees.

Picture of a woman sitting on the floor writing with a home library in the back

Home library ideas

Bookish fans of Dr Who and the Harry Potter series regularly salivate over the heaving shelves in the fictional onscreen Victorian-style libraries that their heroes inhabit. While others hanker after the simple lines of the library featured on a current BBC ident, complete with sliding ladder. But you can easily create your own special library at home, no matter what your budget or how much space you have.

Picture of a home library with multiple facing bookshelves

It is often said that books decorate a home and a skilled carpenter or cabinet-maker can certainly help your home library ideas become decorative reality, whether you are after something to rival the old British Library or something far more modern. You can even build one to house your DVDs or music collection if you don’t have many books. There are many businesses that specialise in nothing but bespoke libraries for you home, but you may find that you may get something at a better price by consulting a local tradesperson who can work to your budget. Each house is a different shape and a skilled carpenter will make use of every nook and cranny when creating your home library.

Picture of a living room with a library under the stairs

For those on a tight budget, why not use simple bookshelves such as those in Ikea’s popular Billy range? These can be customised or painted, with the back of the case framing your books nicely. Ikea have even caught on to this idea themselves and produced a very stylish bargain bookcase with orange highlighting.

Picture of a small room with two floor to ceiling bookshelves

When it comes to laying out your library, those who have a librarian in the family will probably be bound to use the Dewey Decimal System, but those with a little imagination may want to try something a little different. Alphabet and subject are obvious methods of organisation, but the more design-savvy reader may wish to go for chromatic shelving. That is to say, organising the books by colour. It may not be easy to find your favourite reference book or novel when you want it, but it will certainly allow your books to make a real statement in your home. Just be sure to read some of them from time to time, rather than just admiring how great they look.

If you need help creating custom built-in shelving for your home library, post your job and carpenters will get in touch to quote on your job. You’ll be able to view their individual profiles, complete with previous customer recommendations, to help you decide who to hire.

Iain Aitch

Iain is a London-based writer who works as a journalist for a number of newspapers and magazines. He has also written two books, one of which is a hilarious lexicon about Britishness – Iain is a Brit through and through!

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One Comment

  1. ALL the Pottery Barn books and catalogues have great tapaesclbes!! Also love Rachael Ashwell’s shabby chic designs because they show you how to use what you have or from flea market finds.

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